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Old 11-17-10, 08:55 AM   #1
MOBikeCycle
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Exclamation Magicshine Battery Care

If you dont take care of your batteries then they are doomed for failure. These Lithium-Ion batteries need "Delicate" care. It only takes one bad experience to ruin your battery and cause it to do potential damage in the future... example- rupture, fire, etc.

The MAJORITY of failures are because of improper care. I know many people did not receive instructions on how to care for the batteries or some did but just neglected to read them. If you take care of the batteries then they will last MUCH longer!

The main things are
-don't store in HOT places.
- dont leave sitting on a charger more then 24 hours. The best thing is to unplug the battery from the charge as soon as it is finished receiving its full charge.
- do not run the battery dead. When the light indicator on the back of the light turns red then turn it off! (dont wait for it to turn off on its own!)
- dont use chargers that offer "fast charges"
- running 2 headlights using a Y-cable is a bad idea. It will overwork the battery. Running a Headlight with the MS Taillight is ok since the tail light uses very little of the battery.

Here is a link to BATTERY CARE-

http://home.comcast.net/~jharger1/batterycare.pdf

Take these instructions to heart and your batteries will last much longer and also will be SAFER!
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Old 11-17-10, 09:19 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by MOBikeCycle View Post
If you dont take care of your batteries then they are doomed for failure. These Lithium-Ion batteries need "Delicate" care. It only takes one bad experience to ruin your battery and cause it to do potential damage in the future... example- rupture, fire, etc.

The MAJORITY of failures are because of improper care. I know many people did not receive instructions on how to care for the batteries or some did but just neglected to read them. If you take care of the batteries then they will last MUCH longer!

The main things are
-don't store in HOT places.
- dont leave sitting on a charger more then 24 hours. The best thing is to unplug the battery from the charge as soon as it is finished receiving its full charge.
- do not run the battery dead. When the light indicator on the back of the light turns red then turn it off! (dont wait for it to turn off on its own!)
- dont use chargers that offer "fast charges"
- running 2 headlights using a Y-cable is a bad idea. It will overwork the battery. Running a Headlight with the MS Taillight is ok since the tail light uses very little of the battery.

Here is a link to BATTERY CARE-

http://home.comcast.net/~jharger1/batterycare.pdf

Take these instructions to heart and your batteries will last much longer and also will be SAFER!
I don't think this is a case of consumer fault. I'll agree that people are usually responsible for the death of their rechargeable, however I have 4 MS battery packs and 1 is completely dead, 1 is on its way and the other 2 are working fine. I've only had the lights since mid-May and they haven't been mistreated...although the 1 completely dead one was dropped from the bike while I was disconnecting it. It died instantaneously, may it rest in peace

Since Geoman is considering a recall, that says that there is a systematic problem with the batteries. Probably poorly matched and poor quality 18650 cells.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:54 AM   #3
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I believe there are some issues with the Magicshines. They are more "delicate" then others like the Newer Dinotte (the old ones were involved in a RECALL also). The Magicshines are a very inexpensive battery with a very marginal protection circuit. I have had no problems with mine but I have been very careful. I do have 1 friend who has abused his and they show it! 1 dead, another with no more then 45 minutes (he still runs it DEAD everytime he uses it).

If you dropped your battery and it didnt work after that, its probably a wire that detatched. That is a fairly come problem with the MS batteries.

I am very confident that if you purchased your batteries from GEOMAN then you will be able to work with him for replacements soon. He did not use the word "Considering" when I talked to him... he said he IS going to recall the batteries, but a proper replacement is in the works and so in a couple of weeks you should see more info on that.

That being said... there are Lithium-Ion's that are both Bad-Better-Best, etc and I agree that the MS batteries are on the lower end for sure and Geoman is the first person who sells that battery to confirm it. There are a lot of others out there that sell the exact same battery that wont back it up like Geo is doing. I know people who purchased from DealExtreme and are not getting there e-mails responded too and possibly never will.

Regardless of all of this, to make ANY Lithium-Ion battery work better and longer and maximize its usefullness its a good idea to implement proper care. Here is another good link for battery info- http://batteryuniversity.com/

I am excited to see what the new batteries will be like. I ride 3-5 nights a week this time of year and 1-2 nights a week in the summer so my lights get a good workout so GOOD batteries are important. As we all know the great thing about the MS lights is PRICE. Many are expecting much more for there money... I have been extremely happy with the 3 lights I have purchased. Combined, they cost LESS then the NiteRider I have that lasted only 3 years before deciding to drop dead on me. These MS lights are brighter and I have 3 so I am confident if one goes out while on the trail I still have plenty of light to not have to slow down and make it home. I bought knowing that if they only last 1 or 2 years then I still got my moneys worth out of them.
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Old 11-17-10, 10:05 AM   #4
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Is is safe to assume that the problem IS the batteries and not the charger as some have suggested?

How fragile are they??? Mnt bikers use this light and if the batteries are SO fragile then we would have been seeing this as a problem long ago with them. They report the problem but seems that this forum has reported the problem sooner.
I think I am going to learn how to build a better battery so I can deal with all the crap on my own.
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Old 11-17-10, 10:46 AM   #5
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Is is safe to assume that the problem IS the batteries and not the charger as some have suggested?

How fragile are they??? Mnt bikers use this light and if the batteries are SO fragile then we would have been seeing this as a problem long ago with them. They report the problem but seems that this forum has reported the problem sooner.
I think I am going to learn how to build a better battery so I can deal with all the crap on my own.
Li-ion batteries are more 'fragile' than NiMH or NiCad. You can get away with more abuse on the latter 2 chemistries. Dropping cells or battery packs is usually not a good thing for any cell but the kinds of vibrations that a battery experiences while on a mountain bike isn't like dropping it from 3 or 4 feet high. You'll be fine. Do learn how to treat your Li-ion batteries well, however. Here's a good place to start
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Old 11-17-10, 10:57 AM   #6
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How fragile?

Individual protected Lithium Ion cell has a protected circuit board on the cell. If you drop the cell, you can damage that PCB. Protected pack will also have some kind of PCB on them. Same goes for them if you drop them on a hard surface. If you do decide to DIY and build a pack and planning on doing some soldering, get cells that has tabs on them so the heat of the iron will not damage the PCB or worst thing like overheating the cell itself. Also make sure that the cell are all charged to the same level of SOC before putting the pack together. Never take any unkown SOC cells and put them together than charging the pack. Use the same brand and rating in the same pack.

Edit: If you have a cell or pack that has a dent on the cell cause by dropping or mishandling, best thing to do is to not use it and get rid of it. Consider it as a cheap Fire Insurance for your property.

Last edited by colleen c; 11-17-10 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 11-17-10, 02:49 PM   #7
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How fragile?

Individual protected Lithium Ion cell has a protected circuit board on the cell. If you drop the cell, you can damage that PCB. Protected pack will also have some kind of PCB on them. Same goes for them if you drop them on a hard surface. If you do decide to DIY and build a pack and planning on doing some soldering, get cells that has tabs on them so the heat of the iron will not damage the PCB or worst thing like overheating the cell itself. Also make sure that the cell are all charged to the same level of SOC before putting the pack together. Never take any unkown SOC cells and put them together than charging the pack. Use the same brand and rating in the same pack.

Edit: If you have a cell or pack that has a dent on the cell cause by dropping or mishandling, best thing to do is to not use it and get rid of it. Consider it as a cheap Fire Insurance for your property.
The single cell I dropped actually was fragile as in it burst upon impact. Leaked fluid and everything.

I'll agree that there's other stuff in the cell that is breakable as well.
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Old 11-17-10, 03:29 PM   #8
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The single cell I dropped actually was fragile as in it burst upon impact. Leaked fluid and everything.

I'll agree that there's other stuff in the cell that is breakable as well.
Eeek, I can see a potential of a short and possible flame.

I had a single blue Trustfire cell that just got charge while I was at work. I lay it on the shelf inside the cabinet and closed the metal door as the cell was rolling toward the door. It put a nice little dent on it. 2 hour later I check the volt and it was under 4volt. I played safe and buried in a bucket of sand and set the bucket in the corner of the shop. Weeks later, that cell was dead.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:21 PM   #9
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Eeek, I can see a potential of a short and possible flame.

I had a single blue Trustfire cell that just got charge while I was at work. I lay it on the shelf inside the cabinet and closed the metal door as the cell was rolling toward the door. It put a nice little dent on it. 2 hour later I check the volt and it was under 4volt. I played safe and buried in a bucket of sand and set the bucket in the corner of the shop. Weeks later, that cell was dead.
I think you are being way too cautious. If the cell shorts, you'd have the possibility of creating bridges within the cell that could cause heat problems if you tried to recharge it. If you have a good charger, you'll likely not be able to charge a shorted cell anyway. Since your cell was visibly damage, it was a good idea to get rid of it but I don't think you needed to treat it like nuclear waste. The lithium salt in an organic solvent isn't, by itself, all that dangerous. Reducing the lithium salt to lithium metal requires a bit of effort to make it happen.

On the MS pack I dropped, I have the feeling that it may have messed up the electronics of the pack. The chip is on the bottom of the battery away from where the cord comes out of the case. The cord side of the pack is likely not to be the bit that hits the ground if you drop it but the cells smash down on the curcuit board. 'Tis a bad design if anyone is listening.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:53 PM   #10
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The single cell I dropped actually was fragile as in it burst upon impact. Leaked fluid and everything.
An 18650 cell? The case is made of steel and should be pretty tough -- though there must be a seal somewhere between the positive and negative ... is that where it broke?
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Old 11-17-10, 06:11 PM   #11
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I tried out my MS808 last night and got 8 minutes on high. When the red light came on, I checked the voltage. It was reading 7.48V.

Is the battery pack dead? Or is there another problem?
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Old 11-17-10, 09:29 PM   #12
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I tried out my MS808 last night and got 8 minutes on high. When the red light came on, I checked the voltage. It was reading 7.48V.

Is the battery pack dead? Or is there another problem?
Did that red light came on after only 8 minutes of runtime on high? I just charged my newer battery pack and ran 1/2 hour and the voltage was at 8.03v. If your pack reads 7.48v after 8 minute, there is something wrong. Did you run the light while riding or was it on without air cooling the housing since the lamp can get hot. However I am not sure about the red light coming on at 7.48v either. Sound like the lighthead is giving a low battery warning prematurely. This also happen to another member here with a new MS lighthead.
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Old 11-17-10, 10:33 PM   #13
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Did that red light came on after only 8 minutes of runtime on high? I just charged my newer battery pack and ran 1/2 hour and the voltage was at 8.03v. If your pack reads 7.48v after 8 minute, there is something wrong. Did you run the light while riding or was it on without air cooling the housing since the lamp can get hot. However I am not sure about the red light coming on at 7.48v either. Sound like the lighthead is giving a low battery warning prematurely. This also happen to another member here with a new MS lighthead.
Yes, 8 minutes on high. I ran the light outside when the temperature was about 45 F. The housing was warm, but not hot.

When I first got the light, it ran about 3.5 hours on high. About a month ago, I did a night ride and the light ran for about an hour on high. Last night 8 minutes.

I just measured it again just now, and I'm still getting 7.48V. Tonight, the light turns on, then goes red in less than a minute.

I don't know that I want to invest in another battery pack if the head may be bad.

Last edited by Steve530; 11-17-10 at 10:46 PM. Reason: deleted stupid idea
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Old 11-17-10, 10:55 PM   #14
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A power adapter most likely not work. It has to be at least 2.0 amp rated and regulated.

You can try see how long the battery runs until it get between 7.0v and 6.5v. Most cell hangs around 3.7 volt for a better part of the run cycle. With two in series in the MS pack, that means about 7.4 volts. This may give you a better idea of the condition of your pack. I don't know at what volt should the MS red light exactly comes on, but at this stage I would not trust it.
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Old 11-17-10, 11:06 PM   #15
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An 18650 cell? The case is made of steel and should be pretty tough -- though there must be a seal somewhere between the positive and negative ... is that where it broke?
I didn't take the cell apart. I suspect that the cell ruptured in the case and the end cap was bent upon impact. I was rather surprised at how easy it was to damage the unit.
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Old 11-17-10, 11:09 PM   #16
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A power adapter most likely not work. It has to be at least 2.0 amp rated and regulated.

You can try see how long the battery runs until it get between 7.0v and 6.5v. Most cell hangs around 3.7 volt for a better part of the run cycle. With two in series in the MS pack, that means about 7.4 volts. This may give you a better idea of the condition of your pack. I don't know at what volt should the MS red light exactly comes on, but at this stage I would not trust it.
Thanks for the reply.

I will charge it for a few hours and try it again. I'll check the voltage when the red light comes on, and then run for a while longer checking the voltage every so often.

BTW, I deleted my idea about running it off an adapter before you replied. I realized that it was a stupid idea.
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Old 11-18-10, 08:39 AM   #17
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Most cell hangs around 3.7 volt for a better part of the run cycle.
Well, only in that all of it's run cycle is relatively close to 3.7 volts. After the initial fast drop, the voltage drops pretty steadily over time if the discharge rate is constant, then at the end it drops fast again.

For example, here's a data sheet on an 18650 cell --

http://www.all-battery.com/li-ion186...lebattery.aspx

And here's the discharge curve from that sheet --



LiPo / Liion batteries start at 4.2 volts and go down from there. They drop off fast at first, but after a while the drop-off is relatively linear -- the more discharged it is, the lower the voltage. Discharging at a higher rate doesn't really change the shape of the curve much, but it does lower the voltage at all stages of the curve (due to the internal resistance) and makes it last less long, of course.

Different types of LiIon/Lipo/etc batteries will have slightly different discharge curves, but they all generally look like this with a fast drop at first, then a slow gradual decline and a fast drop at the end. Even lead acid and NiCd/NiMH batteries also have discharge curves that look generally like this -- but of course with different voltages

For a Magicshine on high which should last about two hours, that's a 0.5 C discharge rate, which just happens to be what this curve shows.

Last edited by dougmc; 11-18-10 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 11-18-10, 12:07 PM   #18
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After reading some of the large number of posts here about lithium ion batteries and Magicshine's recall, I'm left wondering just how dangerous they can be. I'm pretty careful with the batteries I have in both the Magicshine and my AA flashlights, but got worried about what would happen if there was a problem with the Magicshine battery during recharge while in the racktrunk next to the pair of CO2 cartridges I started carrying after my Topeak pump failed. Yikes! I'm not using the Magicshine now, storing the battery in a coffeecup away from anything flamable while waiting for the news on the replacement, do we have any idea how common the failures are? Or is this a case of rare but dangerous failures?
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Old 11-18-10, 12:28 PM   #19
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I think it is fair to say that it is fairly rare. Imagine how many Li-Ion batteries and lights Deal Extreme, Geoman, Shiningbeam, Fenix, Dinotte had sold (and the list goes on). Off course, it only takes one bad reporting to give a bad impression of a product when in reality, there must be hundred or thousand of consumer who had fairly safe usesage of these Hi power batteries.

Personally I think it boils down to consumer education of what hazzard the product carries along with it. This is where the negative reports can be educating and informing and with the Internet available to us, words gets around fast. Sometimes too fast and creates too much fear but good in the sense that it might have prevented something more serious.
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Old 11-18-10, 01:51 PM   #20
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Instances where Li-Ion cells vent with flame are quite rare, but the risk goes up with low quality cells, damaged cells or low quality/poorly designed chargers. Most instances I've heard of have happened while charging, they dont tend to just go off while in use/on the bike.

However when it happens, the results are disastrous: the fire cannot be put out by ordinary extinguishers and breathing the fumes for just a few seconds can put you in the hospital.
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Old 11-18-10, 02:06 PM   #21
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I don't want to be an idiot, but sometimes it's hard to tell what that means.

I'm still using my MagicShine. I would like to carry on and yet do it in a way least likely to burn my house down or kill me.

If I charge the think on a large plate away from burnable stuff that enough to be considered "prudent"? Anything else?

I'd also like to know how many actual problems there have been. Is this s real issue, or a one-in-a-million problem?
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Old 11-18-10, 08:46 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
I don't want to be an idiot, but sometimes it's hard to tell what that means.

I'm still using my MagicShine. I would like to carry on and yet do it in a way least likely to burn my house down or kill me.

If I charge the think on a large plate away from burnable stuff that enough to be considered "prudent"? Anything else?

I'd also like to know how many actual problems there have been. Is this s real issue, or a one-in-a-million problem?
There are couple of stuff that are worth mentioning. I think it is a good idea to periodically check the temperature of the cell/pack while it is charging. If at anytime they feel very warm or hot, that is a very good indication that cell/pack is going bad and maybe shorting out. Also feel the temp of your charger. That may indicate clue if the charger is going bad or being overworked.

You should not charge the pack when it is warm. That will only increase the chance of causing a fire during the charge cycle. So if say your pack was in direct sunlight on a hot day, then let it cool off indoor before charging.

Do not charge them with a charger that has a higher charging current output that is higher than the recomendation of the cell. A higher current charger will heat up a cell faster during charging.
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Old 11-18-10, 09:30 PM   #23
hopperja
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Originally Posted by MOBikeCycle View Post
If you dont take care of your batteries then they are doomed for failure. These Lithium-Ion batteries need "Delicate" care. It only takes one bad experience to ruin your battery and cause it to do potential damage in the future... example- rupture, fire, etc.

The MAJORITY of failures are because of improper care. I know many people did not receive instructions on how to care for the batteries or some did but just neglected to read them. If you take care of the batteries then they will last MUCH longer!

The main things are
-don't store in HOT places.
- dont leave sitting on a charger more then 24 hours. The best thing is to unplug the battery from the charge as soon as it is finished receiving its full charge.
- do not run the battery dead. When the light indicator on the back of the light turns red then turn it off! (dont wait for it to turn off on its own!)
- dont use chargers that offer "fast charges"
- running 2 headlights using a Y-cable is a bad idea. It will overwork the battery. Running a Headlight with the MS Taillight is ok since the tail light uses very little of the battery.

Here is a link to BATTERY CARE-

http://home.comcast.net/~jharger1/batterycare.pdf

Take these instructions to heart and your batteries will last much longer and also will be SAFER!
I like my Magicshine and would get it again. I also have faith in Geoman to make things right.

That being said, I store my light and battery on my bike in my basement. It's always between 55 and 65 degrees there. I have never let it sit on the charger for more than 12 hours, typically around 5 hours. I have never run it dead. I've only had it turn to red a couple of times, and only had it on for a few minutes post-red. I only use the charger that it came with (the second version of the charger, so it's the better one). And, I only run one light on the battery.

Sounds like I'm doing it all right, however... after slightly less than 1 year of weekly charging, or approx. 48 charges (running it 45 mins on high, 45 mins on SOS flash on Tuesdays, then the same again on Fridays, then charge it and do it all again the next week), I don't have enough juice in my fully charged battery to make it through a combined 90 mins on high and 90 mins on SOS flash. I do have enough to run it 90 on medium and 90 on SOS flash. Seems like a significant reduction in capacity even though I believe I've done everything right... enlighten me...

Also, given this reduced charge, I've had to mount my Fenix L2D premium Q5 on my handlebars, just in case I have any problems mid-ride and need a light on immediately. I hate to have to rely on another light...

I've thought about charging it between Tuesday and Friday, but I'm afraid that'll reduce the battery life even further. Thoughts?

Last edited by hopperja; 11-18-10 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 11-18-10, 09:46 PM   #24
electrik
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hopperja, did you charge it right after coming in from a ride in the cold?
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Old 11-18-10, 10:26 PM   #25
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hopperja, did you charge it right after coming in from a ride in the cold?
On all but one charge (the most recent), I charged it after the Friday ride. That being said, until about 2 months ago (or 9 of the 11 months I've had it), it was always inside a bag and protected from the elements. I did waterproof it (plastidip, immediately after getting it). Between my morning and evening commutes (Tues and Fri), the bike w/attached light and battery are stored inside where it's approx. 68 degrees.

The short answer is yes, it gets charged within 20 minutes of the ride. But after only being outside for 40 mins after being inside for a minimum of 10 hrs prior. And, most times it was deep inside a handlebar bag. I doubt the battery has ever been exposed to temps below 45 degrees outside of the handlebar bag.

I just want to know what to do when, a- Geoman replaces it with a newer battery under the recall or, b- I get a new one, perhaps a Dinotte ($70).

Last edited by hopperja; 11-18-10 at 10:31 PM.
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